A few months back, I was listening to the SiriusXM hits station and heard a new version of The 4 Seasons’ “Beggin’.” A cover of an oldie on pop radio? That’s interesting, I thought, as I gave the display a double take. It said it was by Måneskin. I’d never heard of them, so I did some research. Turns out they’re an Italian rock band who got big off TikTok, the uber-popular app and hitmaker du jour. Måneskin first released “Beggin’” on their debut EP Chosen in 2017. However, it wasn’t until after their win at the 2021 Eurovision song contest that the four-piece group started gaining traction on social media.
“Beggin'”is one of my favorites from one of the best-selling rock groups of the ‘60s. The song was written by Peggy Farina and Bob Gaudio, the 4 Seasons’ keyboardist and backing vocalist who wrote most of their hits. Frontman Frankie Valli sang the lead with his unmistakable falsetto. Released in February 1967, “Beggin’” peaked at #16 on the Billboard Hot 100. As of this writing, Måneskin’s version has hit #13 on the Hot 100, #3 on the Global 200 chart, and #1 on Rock & Alternative Airplay.
The Smithereens drummer Dennis Diken described “Beggin’” as “funky,” “scorching,” and “manic.” Diken can claim expert status on this topic; he’s also a music historian and penned the liner notes to the fantastic 3CD/DVD box set Jersey Beat: The Music of Frankie Valli and 4 Seasons.
Actor Christian Hoff, who played vocalist/guitarist Tommy DeVito in the Tony award-winning musical Jersey Boys, commented, “This song’s relentless groove represents The 4 Seasons’ will to succeed without losing sight of their working-class humility.”
Through the years, there have been a number of groups who have put their lovin’ hand out and tried it on a “Beggin'” cover. The following three more than hold their own.
From the album Good Times
The Dutch rock band, who made our 1970 one-hit wonders list with “Venus,” recorded “Beggin’” for their eighth and final album.
From the album So Dark the Con of Man
This Norwegian duo gave “Beggin’” a modern hip-hop spin and topped the charts in the Netherlands, France, Norway and Belgium.
From the EP Mirrors
This retro-soul group stayed true to the grit and funk of the original.
Stick & stay for more great Threefers: